Front border flower suggestions?

ptwonlineMay 10, 2014

I'm looking to stop using so many annuals and instead using more perennials for the front and to a lesser extent the middle of my borders. But for that I need things that will flower for long periods here in my Zone 5 (Toronto) and in full sun. Preferably non-invasive.

I have a variety of different beds and companion plants and colors so almost anything will likely work in a spot!

RIght now for border edges I am using:
Dianthus (Cheddar Pinks)
Scabiosa Pink Mist (Dwarf Pincushion Flower)
Nepata Walker's Low
Various Daylilies
Rock/Wall Cress
Iberis (Candytuft)
Hardy Geraniums and Cranesbills

Other suggestions?

Is there anything similar to Alyssum except as a long-flowering perennial? That is the effect I am going for with the Iberis and Rock Cress edging but those do not flower through the summer. I was looking at Baby's Breath but I read that it is very invasive.

Thanks.

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Michaela .:. thegarden@902 .:. (Zone 5b - Iowa)

I'm probably way off here, but a few things that popped into my mind:
Meadow Sage
Coreopsis
Mini Roses
Campanula Bavarian Blue - 6 inches
Asters

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 10:00PM
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babera(5a (Montana))

I have sweet woodruff as a new comer this year (planted last summer late) and I am loving it, it has a nice mounding habit, does well in my semi sunny bed as well as a bright shade bed. It was blooming (small clusters of white flowers) when I bought it last year but not sure if that's normal or compliments of the greenhouse I got it from. It's blooming right now. It was one of the first to show signs of life this year. I even divided it to have in a few other beds. It reminded me of alyssum, that's why I bought it.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 12:09AM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

Most Coreopsis are extremely long blooming. Sweet woodruff can become quite aggressive. And keep in mind that plant shape, texture and foliage color will keep a bed interesting even when nothing at all is in bloom. Large leaves "read" better than lots of small leaves.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 6:32AM
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shadeyplace(7)

Yes, the woodruff will take over the perennial bed. small hostas, campanula porscharkiana (sp), corydalis, astilbe, heucheras, calamintha, stachys humelo, carex, hellebores, hakon grass.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 7:49AM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

The sweet woodruff will not bloom all season, and as it is a groundcover, will spread. I think it is a beautiful plant - love the foliage as much as the blooms - but I would not use it as a bed plant (I have it in my woodland area as a groundcover.)

I'm having a hard time thinking of perennials that will bloom as long as you'd like, and agree with laceyveil regarding foliage and texture, etc. One plant I have along the edge of some beds is geranium biokovo. The foliage is quite nice, IMO, and turns a nice bronzy color in fall as as well. In some of my beds it can get a bit ratty in high summer, but I neglect my gardens an awful lot.

Ah, I just read back through your original post and see that you already have geraniums. Sorry! Although I still think this is a good one! :)

For full sun, some of the creeping sedums may work. I absolutely love creeping sedums, especially the ones that turn reddish in fall and are fairly evergreen. However, depending on the bed the soil may be too rich. Perhaps give one a try and see? Just do your homework - some of them are fairly aggressive (while my kamschaticum is not spreading nearly enough for my purposes!)

Dee

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 11:56AM
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